Just some final thoughts on the Women's World Cup soccer championship....
In that game, the Lady Wildcats were just seconds away from clinching a berth in the state tournament. But a Harvest Prep post player knocked down a three to send it into overtime.
In OT, Waterford came up short, and the stunned look of anguish on standout Sina King's face spoke volumes.
The Lady Wildcats had it all but won in regulation time, and....
Well, on Sunday, in Frankfurt, Germany, the US women also had the world championship all but claimed in both regulation and overtime - but then of course they bowed out in a penalty kick shootout.
If the golden goal or sudden death (sudden victory?) rule had applied in Sunday's Women's World Cup final in Frankfurt, Germany, the United States would have won it after Abby Wambach's header in overtime. But of course that was not the case, and Japan still had life and was able to rally to tie the score and send it into the shootout phase.
Anybody who had watched the match played on the pitch in regulation time and in the extra sessions knows that the US outplayed Japan from the get-go.
But in the shootout, there's no question, the Japanese thrived on the pressure and were the better individual booters.
Interestingly, if the golden goal had been applicable, the US would have been eliminated by Brazil in the quarterfinals. So, in that respect, the American ladies benefitted from a shootout, but then in the championship tilt a week later it proved to be their downfall.
Soccer is a team sport, and if a match is deadlocked, it has to be decided in a mano o mano (one on one) fashion? Something's just not quite right here.
On Sept. 28, 2003, 23-year-old Wambach and the US women's team visited Columbus Crew Stadium to play North Korea in a "friendly." Back then, she was not one the marquee players on the squad but rather Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and Julie Foudy were.
What stands out for me in that match, though, is that the fans came to see Hamm play, and she didn't for whatever reason - and I don't believe it was because of an injury.
Anyways, Wambach did score a goal and the US won easily.
Incidentally, Hamm, Chastain, and Foudy were all ESPN analysts during the recent Women's World Cup.
Do you suppose that Wambach, after retiring someday, might become one, too?
Of course not.
Japan prevailed because, against all odds, the players hung in there and made their own breaks - and those are the real sports and life lessons here.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441 or firstname.lastname@example.org